The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 14, 2001, 01:32 AM   #1
striderteen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 590
Self-Defense Tactics

I actually wrote this myself...I'm not really that much of a gun expert...it's mostly based on my studies across the Internet, plus Army close-combat field manuals...please critique.




Principles of Armed Self-Defense Combat

1. Don't think of your attacker as a human -- it sounds cold, but that only gets in the way. He -- it -- is a target.

2. If your target has a weapon, run. Even if you have a gun, getting into a firefight is a losing game.

3. If your target has a weapon and you cannot run (for example, if protecting children) shoot it. Do not give it any warning -- no "hands up", no "hold it right there". This is of CRITICAL importance. You MUST get in the first shot, or you are DEAD.

4. If the target is UNARMED, tell it to "freeze". Not "hands up". A hands-up movement is very similar to a gun draw; you can't assure yourself of the difference, especially factoring in adrenaline. Once you are in full control of the situation, have the target SLOWLY get down and lie spread-eagled on the ground.

5. "No sudden moves" is not a joke. If the target makes ANY fast motion whatsoever, especially with his hands near his belt, shoot it IMMEDIATELY. You cannot afford to risk letting it get a weapon of its own. Remember that an average human can move at over twenty feet in a second for short periods of time.

6. Aim before firing. It sounds like it should obvious, but it isn't -- your gut instinct will be to take a fast snap shot. Don't. Firing wildly will only give away your position, and it doesn't matter who fires first -- it matters who HITS first. Practice, practice, practice -- that instinctive snap shot WILL become lethally precise if you drill enough.

7. Always shoot to kill. Do not, under any circumstances, shoot at the target's hands or weapon in an attempt to disarm it. That is movie BS. Shoot at the head or the thoracic triangle (the triangle formed by the nipples and throat). You need to neutralize the target as rapidly as possible.

8. Never shoot once what you can shoot twice. That sounds brutal, but it's a lethal error made by a lot of novice self-defense shooters. Humans, under the right conditions, can survive a stunning amount of damage, at least in the short term. A "double-tap" -- two hits in rapid succession -- causes a lot more damage than two single shots, because the shockwaves from the hits resonate in the body; this is why military assault rifles are usually set to fire two or three round bursts. Continue to fire until the target is obviously no longer a threat.

9. Target fixation can be a major problem in self-defense situations. Do not forget that the target may have accomplices. Move quickly to eliminate all targets; do not allow yourself to relax until you have ascertained that the immediate area is secure, and all threats are neutralized.

10. Once the threat is neutralized, safe your weapon, and await the arrival of law-enforcement personnell. Put it down, but keep it near you in case the target is not actually neutralized. Above all, do not let your guard down until law enforcement arrives!

11. SPECIAL NOTE: Do NOT try to threaten someone with a BB gun except in cases of absolute, dire emergency. Not even an Airsoft type BB gun (those are the ones that look exactly like real guns, mostly military assault wearpons). If you point a gun at someone, you have just escalated the threat level to "lethal". You have to be ready, able, and willing to shoot and KILL. With a BB gun, your only option is to shoot at the face and eyes. An airsoft gun has a definite advantage over an ordinary BB gun in this respect, as many have burst and/or automatic fire capability. Nonetheless, you never want to use a fake gun. The kid in Home Alone 3 was an utter idiot.
striderteen is offline  
Old December 14, 2001, 07:38 PM   #2
CWL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,576
Hey there,

I think your first two principles work against each other. If you are to always run when threatened with a weapon, then principle 1 will make you a murderer, -especially since will have no weapon. Combine this with principle 7, where you are advocating killing, and you are looking at a serious stretch of time or worse, since you have just shown premeditation.

All I can say is, if you must use a firearm (or weapon) to defend yourself, it had better in an extreme situation, and the application of lethal force is to INCAPACITATE the aggressor(s) from committing any harm to yourself or other innocents. The application of firearms in personal self-defense is not to kill. Death may just be a side-affect occurence. Look for this discussion in an earlier discussion here.

I believe that you are a teen-ager, I'd like to suggest that you look for and take some beginner gun safety/awareness courses offered in your area. Possibly at local shooting ranges, clubs, Boy Scouts, or NRA offices for further gun shooting fun and safety.
CWL is offline  
Old December 14, 2001, 07:44 PM   #3
CWL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,576
Oh yeah,

Your last point about BB guns or fake guns, I don't know of any dire emergencies worth brandishing on of these. There are enough tragedies where police have killed people armed with BB guns.

Anyone pointing something that even remotely looks like a gun at me in a threatening manner will elicit the same response as if he had a real firearm. They all look alike and I won't hesitate to see if it is a real or fake gun.
CWL is offline  
Old December 14, 2001, 09:15 PM   #4
striderteen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 590
"I think your first two principles work against each other. If you are to always run when threatened with a weapon, then principle 1 will make you a murderer, -especially since will have no weapon. Combine this with principle 7, where you are advocating killing, and you are looking at a serious stretch of time or worse, since you have just shown premeditation. "

A retreat is preferable to engagement, but I agree that it's not a viable option in most situations (basically, only if the target hasn't spotted you). I put that in mostly to discourage over-aggressiveness, and I'll probably reword it.


"All I can say is, if you must use a firearm (or weapon) to defend yourself, it had better in an extreme situation, and the application of lethal force is to INCAPACITATE the aggressor(s) from committing any harm to yourself or other innocents. The application of firearms in personal self-defense is not to kill. Death may just be a side-affect occurence. Look for this discussion in an earlier discussion here."

I will change the wording to reflect this. Note, however, the following:

"The only shot placement that guarantees immediate and total incapacitation is one roughly centered in the face, below the middle of the forehead, and above the upper lip. Shots to the side of the head above the horizontal line passing through the ear opening to just below the crown of the skull and from the cheekbones rearward to the occipital lobe are also effective." (U.S. Army Field Manual FM-90-10-1 Appendix K, "Close Quarters Combat Techniques")

That headshot is lethal, and I have not heard of any shots that can reliably incapacitate without killing.



"I believe that you are a teen-ager, I'd like to suggest that you look for and take some beginner gun safety/awareness courses offered in your area. Possibly at local shooting ranges, clubs, Boy Scouts, or NRA offices for further gun shooting fun and safety."

Been there, done that (for the record, I'm an Eagle Scout, and I do have the rifle safety merit badge). And I'm not a teenager per se at eighteen.
striderteen is offline  
Old December 14, 2001, 11:41 PM   #5
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,423
striderteen, you might benefit from Jeff Cooper's "Principles of Personal Defense".

There's nothing about specific weaponry. There's a ton of brain-food about fundamental principles, in that 44 pages.

Regards,

Art
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old December 15, 2001, 02:14 AM   #6
SamH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2001
Location: Down Under
Posts: 108
Hi.

It was interesting reading. But a few pointers...

You seem to advocate the use of firearms using military principles rather than civilian self defence. While this is good for things like, shot placement, it can also land the defender in jail for life.

For example, the double-tap. Mindlessly double-tapping the aggressor will always be considered "overkill" by the jury, or the prosecution will make it sound overly brutal. The excuse, "that's the way I was trained" is not a valid defence for double-tapping. As a civilian defender, the worst you are allowed to do is the shoot-assess cycle: one shot, then assess, repeat if deadly force is still present. So, it is even more important that your single shot gives maximum effect.

Remember that when using deadly force to defend yourself, you must make sure that the agressor:
1. Possesses a lethal force weapon.
2. Is in a position to use the weapon to inflict death.
3. Shows undoubtable intent to use the weapon to cause death.

... and more, depending on the strictness of your judicial system.

Otherwise, your case in court is dead.

As a civilian defender, it is always better to use the minimal-force approach. This is especially necessary in countries with very strict laws regarding self defence (in Australia, people are routinely jailed for using guns to defend themselves). Sometimes a confrontation can't be solved by anything but a gun. However, 99% of self defence scenarios can be resolved without using deadly force.

Regards,
SamH is offline  
Old December 16, 2001, 04:52 PM   #7
striderteen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 590
A snap shot...I was referring to the CQB manual again:

"c. Aim. The four aiming techniques all have their place during combat in built-up areas, but the aimed quick-kill technique is the one most often used in close quarters combat.

(1) Slow aimed fire. This technique is the most accurate. It consists of taking up a steady, properly aligned sight picture and squeezing off rounds. It is normally used for engagements beyond 25 meters or when the need for accuracy overrides speed.

(2) Rapid aimed fire. This technique features an imperfect sight picture in which windage is critical but elevation is of lesser importance. When the front sight post is in line with the target, the gunner squeezes the trigger. This technique is used against targets out to 15 meters and is fairly accurate and very fast.

(3) Aimed quick kill. This technique consists of using a good spot weld and placing the front sight post flush on top of the rear peep sight. It is used for very quick shots out to 12 meters. Windage is important, but elevation is not critical with relation to the target. This technique is the fastest and most accurate. With practice, soldiers can become deadly shots at close range.

(4) Instinctive fire. This technique is the least desirable. The gunner focuses on the target and points the weapon in the target’s general direction, using muscle memory to compensate for lack of aim. This technique should be used only in emergencies."
striderteen is offline  
Old December 16, 2001, 05:06 PM   #8
striderteen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 590
"Hi.

It was interesting reading. But a few pointers...

You seem to advocate the use of firearms using military principles rather than civilian self defence. While this is good for things like, shot placement, it can also land the defender in jail for life.

For example, the double-tap. Mindlessly double-tapping the aggressor will always be considered "overkill" by the jury, or the prosecution will make it sound overly brutal. The excuse, "that's the way I was trained" is not a valid defence for double-tapping. As a civilian defender, the worst you are allowed to do is the shoot-assess cycle: one shot, then assess, repeat if deadly force is still present. So, it is even more important that your single shot gives maximum effect.

Remember that when using deadly force to defend yourself, you must make sure that the agressor:
1. Possesses a lethal force weapon.
2. Is in a position to use the weapon to inflict death.
3. Shows undoubtable intent to use the weapon to cause death.

... and more, depending on the strictness of your judicial system.

Otherwise, your case in court is dead.

As a civilian defender, it is always better to use the minimal-force approach. This is especially necessary in countries with very strict laws regarding self defence (in Australia, people are routinely jailed for using guns to defend themselves). Sometimes a confrontation can't be solved by anything but a gun. However, 99% of self defence scenarios can be resolved without using deadly force.

Regards,
"

No offense intended, but are you a lawyer? Furthermore, what country are you from? I know Poland in particular is excessively stupid -- you're not allowed to use a gun against an attacker unless he has a gun AND HAS FIRED AT YOU.

In the U.S., the law generally holds that you are justified in using lethal force any time you reasonably believe that unlawful force which will cause death or grievous bodily harm is about to be used on you. That is, if you are being threatened with a deadly weapon -- deadly weapon being anything capable of killing, including screwdrivers, chairs, lamps, etc.

You are also justified in using force (lethal and non-lethal) to defend others if you reasonably believe they need assistance.

Home defense is slightly different. You have a right to use non-lethal force in defense of your dwelling when you believe that such conduct is needed to prevent or stop another's unlawful entry or attack. Lethal force is justified if violent entry is being made or attempted and you reasonably belive that you must use lethal force to prevent an attack upon yourself, or when you believe that such force is required to stop a person from entering your home in order to commit a felony.

You are also permitted to use reasonable force in order to stop a crime or disturbance of the peace; lethal force in case of dengerous felony that involves a risk to human life.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor a law student for that matter. Do not construe this as legal advice in any way, shape or form.
striderteen is offline  
Old December 17, 2001, 05:30 AM   #9
SamH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2001
Location: Down Under
Posts: 108
Hi Striderteen.

If I caused any offense in my post, I'm sorry. Just trying to comment from a country where self-defence is a mine-field.

I am not a lawyer, just another self-defence-aware person, like yourself. I was raised in Korea, where I lived off a slum notorious for child kidnappings, before moving to Australia, where I am now a happy citizen. I've been interested in self-defence since grade three in school, and in recent years, the legal stigmas associated with self-defence.

In Australia, laws regarding self defence is extremely tight. There has been many occasions where good-willed shopkeepers have been jailed for using a firearm against armed robbers. Gun control is a huge issue in Australia, and use of guns for self-defence is often misunderstood.

When you ask the police on what a legally justifiable defence is, they often reply: "to respond with equal/appropriate force." But no cop can give a clear-cut reply on what "equal" or "appropriate" means. To me, this is very stupid indeed, and I am sure you'll agree. In fact, when the latter question is asked, the reply is of this effect: "comply and don't resist." Which gives a lot of comfort to the families and friends of victims who have been killed or maimed, thanks to criminal scumbags.

Oh, and you're definitely not allowed to defend third-parties; especially using deadly force.

I wrote my reply to give a more conservative view, in line with countries where laws regarding self-defence is more oppressive than those of the USA.

Regards,

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: My opinions should NOT be used as legal reference. I take no responsibility for any damages caused - directly or indirectly - by my messages in this discussion board.
SamH is offline  
Old December 17, 2001, 09:24 AM   #10
striderteen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2001
Location: Pasadena, California
Posts: 590
Hmm...Poland has similar laws to you guys. Even if your attacker has a gun, you cannot legally shoot him until he has already fired at you!

:barf:
striderteen is offline  
Old December 17, 2001, 12:56 PM   #11
David Park
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 29, 2001
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,224
Personally, I see nothing wrong with the double-tap against an attacker with a gun (especially since I carry "only" a 9mm). Shoot-assess is fine, but if assess consists of "can he still pull the trigger?" then I'd like to make as sure as possible that the answer will be "no". Also, I think police are often taught the double-tap, and it was taught in my CCW class, so that can be used as proof that it's not a "bad" technique. If I was carrying a .22, I would probably empty the gun and assess while reloading.

I would not run from a gun-wielding attacker unless I saw him coming from a distance, mainly because I don't want to turn my back on someone with a ranged weapon. My first option would be to seek cover, but otherwise if I could get off the first shot I'd probably shoot it out.

The head shot is always a stopper (assuming a powerful cartridge) but is a relatively small target. A center chest shot has more margin for error. Against an attacker with a knife or contact weapon, a pelvis shot will immediately drop an attacker. They're not totally incapacitated, but they'll have to crawl after you. As CWL said, never talk of killing, talk of stopping the attack. This becomes more important if using a knife for defense, because you have more control over your "aim." Stabbing the heart works, but destroying the weapon arm is preferable, at least in front of a jury.

Don't rely too much on military manuals, or even Col. Cooper (he has the military mindset in some cases). Combat and civilian life require different tactics. That's not to say studying combat skills is bad, just know the difference between silently slitting the throat of a sentry and fighting off a mugger.
__________________
Libertarian for Bush '04
David Park is offline  
Old December 17, 2001, 01:16 PM   #12
Zundfolge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2001
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 1,749
As for double taps, it would seem to me that if you double tap your attacker, don't ever say "I double tapped him"

The best defense in court for a civilian is "I was scared for my life....I have no idea how many times I fired... the only thought in my head was that I just wanted to see my [wife and kids / mother / dog / whatever] again"

Don't admit to any training. If you have an anti-gun/self defense DA they'll try to paint you as a trained killer or murderous fiend bent on killing someone, and your training may be twisted to mean "pre-meditation"


Oh yeah...and I'd recommend anyting written by Jeff Cooper
__________________
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws...you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt."
Ayn Rand
Zundfolge is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09739 seconds with 7 queries